“Silencing” the Angel
Have you ever felt like you “Silenced” the angel of God? I believe that God still sends angels to inform us, chastise us, reassure us, lead us and guide us. Even though God still talks with us and walks with us through these, “Angels,” sometimes like Zechariah, we do not believe what God has to say. In the Christmas story God sends an angel to inform Zechariah that he and his wife Elizabeth are going to have a child, John, who will become known as John the Baptist, the fore runner and cousin to Jesus Christ. Even though he is a priest and close to God, Zechariah thinks he and his wife are too old to have a child. Forget that the child will set the stage for the coming of Jesus Christ; Zechariah just thought that he and Elizabeth were past the age of having a child. So, Zechariah tries to silence the angel of God by asking the question, “How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years?”
Sometimes I think that we, like Zechariah, also try to silence the angels that God sends to us. We want the blessing of God, but sometimes we cannot believe what God is offering us. God wants us to go in a particular direction, but if it is not what we want, when we want it, or how we want it, we cannot believe God is really talking to us. In our way we inadvertently try to shut the promise of God because we cannot believe what God is telling us.
For the next three weeks I will be focusing on the “Angels of Advent.” Five discussion groups at my church are using the Bible Discussion Guide I have written with the same name: “Angels of Advent.” Three adult groups plus a high school and middle school classes will be reading and using my discussion guide about angels. We will be looking at the angels that God sent to Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph and the Shepherds to announce the birth of the baby Jesus. I hope you will join me as we “Walk to Bethlehem” following the “Advent of the Angels.”
Luke 1: 18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.” 19 The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.” 
Questions for Reflection:
- What does it mean to “Silence the Angel”?
- What are some of the reasons why we do not see, believe or follow the direction of the “Angel’s” that God sends to us?
- Why do you think that Zechariah does not believe the angel of God?
Lord, I pray that you might grant me a willing spirit. Free me from my fears and doubts. Lord, there have been times when you have sent me angels, but I admit that I have not always recognized that they represented you. I admit that there have been times when I have doubted myself and doubted you. Today, I pray for a willing and receptive spirit. Talk with me. Walk with me. Work with me. Send me an angel. Show me what you want me to do. Bless me and keep me in your care. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Nicholas Hood III
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
More about Nicholas Hood III Ministries at www.nicholasiiiministries.org
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Lk 1:17–20). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.